The Internet can turn anything into a joke. But the best Internet memes, the ones with real potential to go viral, tap into an easy gag that goes overlooked, and taking it to the next step. Why, for example, does Pennywise refer to himself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown when he talks to Georgie from the sewer drain at the start of IT? Well, the Internet took that as an assignment, and now gives us plenty of hilarious examples of a dancing Pennywise:
In Andres Muschietti's IT, which is a monster hit for Warner Bros., a gang of misfit kids dubbed The Losers' Club must stare down their fears and confront the age-old evil that plagues their town... often taking the shape of a dancing clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). And it's true that in one of his confrontation with Loser gal Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Pennywise does break into a comical jig. But music cues are everything in a horror movie. I mean, just look at how un-scary the demonic clown is when he's paired with, say, Taylor Swift:
Shake it off, Pennywise! Some songs work better than others for this particular meme. Some don't work at all. And then there's "Hey Ya!" by OutKast, which -- even though it came out in 2003 -- appears to have been written with Pennywise in mind. Maybe Andre 3000 has been to Derry?
IT has been one of the biggest surprises of this Fall season. After The Dark Tower, a different Stephen King adaptation, stumbled at the box office, few would have predicted that IT would succeed in such grand fashion. However, IT is an easier movie to market, and the word of mouth on the kids-in-peril thriller has been rock solid, leading to multiple weeks at or near the top of the box office charts en route to a $478M global take (and counting).
Up next will be IT Chapter 2, where director Andy Muschietti will tell the story of the adult Losers, reuniting 27 years after their initial encounter with Pennywise to stand up to the evil one more time. This is the segment of Stephen King's original novel that went unadapted, leaving material for a movie sequel. And now that we know audiences love the dancing Pennywise, maybe the sequel can include a musical number?